I scored my greatest goal at Old Trafford, I’m urging Sir Jim Ratcliffe not to bulldoze Man Utd’s iconic stadium


A FORMER Manchester United cult hero has begged Sir Jim Ratcliffe NOT to demolish Old Trafford and get rid of the stadium where he scored his greatest goal.

United’s iconic Old Trafford home is now 114 years old and fans have been complaining of a leaking roof, rusting metal and the dated venue that is way behind the likes of their rivals.

PASir Jim Ratcliffe is looking into bulldozing Old Trafford and rebuilding it from scratch[/caption]

PA:Press AssociationFederico Macheda scored on his Man Utd debut as a teen in 2009 against Aston Villa[/caption]

British billionaire Ratcliffe has vowed to pump in £237million for club infrastructure once his £1.3billion takeover is ratified by the Premier League and has explored the idea of building a brand new ground next to where the current one sits.

He has enlisted the help of Stadium developers Populous to draft up some options to improve the club’s facilities.

They are behind some of the most impressive arena’s in the world including the brand new Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, the iconic Wembley arch and the eye-catching Las Vegas Sphere.

We revealed how the firm have put forward the option of either renovating Old Trafford for around £800m or knocking it down and building a brand new 90,000-seater stadium dubbed the “Wembley of the north”.

That option would cost considerably more, with the project likely to set the club back between £1.5bn and £2bn.

Populous CEO Chris Lee has urged Ratcliffe and Man Utd to opt for the idea of a new stadium rather than the redevelopment of the iconic Old Trafford.

However, Federico Macheda has urged the United chief to keep the famous stadium and just expand it instead.

The Italian burst on to the scene with a 93rd minute winner in a 3-2 victory over Aston Villa in April 2009.

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And he believes that by bulldozing Old Trafford you would be losing the “magic” of the club.

He told the Daily Mail: “I would be against destroying the stadium and building it somewhere else.

“I believe the structure and the history of the place should stay there, and then make some improvements.

“Even if you build next to it — and I’m sure they would make it an amazing stadium — it’s a place where all the fans enjoyed great games and memories.”

Macheda, now 32 and playing for Turkish club Ankaragucu, added: “The first day I signed for Manchester United when I was a kid, walking inside the stadium gave me a special feeling. I’d never seen something like it. It’s magical.

“It’s not only the place where I scored the goal, it’s home for everybody who supports United.

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“When I went back, it was the same. Obviously, it needs to be upgraded but the history of this club is also this stadium, Old Trafford.”

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